Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) predicted last week that Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire from the Supreme Court this summer, allowing Republicans to fill that seat before the 2018 midterm elections.
“I think Kennedy is going to retire around sometime early summer,” Heller said at an event in Las Vegas last week, according to audio of an event obtained by POLITICO. “Which I’m hoping will get our base a little motivated because right now they’re not very motivated. But I think a new Supreme Court justice will get them motivated.”
Kennedy was appointed by President Ronald Reagan is often a swing vote on the Supreme Court and will sometimes vote with the justices appointed by Democratic presidents. If he retires while President Donald Trump is in office, he could be replaced by a more conservative justice.
Heller told the audience at the event held by the J. Reuben Clark Law Society that he believes Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) would be considered for the Supreme Court slot.
“Mike Lee from Utah is probably on that short list of the next Supreme Court justice in our courts,” he said, according to Politico.